I believed in the ‘galleries will make me famous’ fairytale for a very long time.
It’s how we were brought up, yes. That’s what we learnt in art-history, in art-society, in school.
Maybe because Holland only has so many galleries, or perhaps because at one point I founded my own brick and mortar gallery, in any which way, I found something better than the fairytale.
I found ‘self-reliance’. I found autonomy. Even when All galleries I’m working with today, would kick me out, I can still live of art. Isn’t that great. 🙂 And freeing.
I saw a bad side of ‘galleries’ when some of them got nasty, when I started my brick and mortar. (I also ended it, to focus again more on the digital side.) So all of my loyalty quickly vanished. And is ‘loyalty’ really needed? Some said they didn’t like my discounts. They didn’t like me having my own online/offline shop. They didn’t like the ‘listbuilding’.
I think at that time I cut the mental cord. And just focussed on the Business aspect. And learn all there is to know to get real good at it.
When the fairytale still works for you that’s great because indeed it CAN come true.
Some can make it into a reality. Still I know of a few Artists whose revenue CAN’T be scaled, because all they have is their 1) loyalty 2) gallery pricing and 3) no business knowledge. Yes they sell a lot. But ONLY via the galleries. WAITING for their 50-60% share, 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 10 weeks.
These Artists can only SCALE when they’re SELLING MORE in these galleries. But how can they Influence that?
Yes they can increase the price, again, again. (That’s how the Gallery-Fame-Fortune-thing goes yes.)
Yes you can work with 10 galleries at the time. Scaling the outlets. I’ve done that also. Having one expo after the other, simultaneously. And ‘just create more’. A hamster wheel if you ask me.
When for any reason this gallery ‘cord is cut’ you are stuck with High Priced Art + No Customer List. (And we all know: you can’t decrease the price of Art: it’s a very bad move.)
Don’t get me wrong: yes there are Good galleries, good gallerists. You Can combine. You Can have loyalty. But times change in this whole industry too: Just like how all brick and mortars make it work these days: smart online combined with offline, trying to keep the Artists from going online is a sign of fear of the industry.
As for me, yes I exhibit in galleries. But I don’t count on their sales to make ends meet. That’s just extra income. They can do whatever they want. Feature me, not feature me. Place my stuff in the back, or upstairs. All fine. 🙂 I’m NOT DEPENDENT on them anymore. Feels better.
You can combine your own sales with sales made via the galleries. It’s important you ‘diversify’. Multiple streams, multiple kinds of products, multiple forms of communication, online/offline and be building your list.
So I hope you’ve got something out of this. Maybe a lightbulb went off inside your head, knowing there’s a way to MORE FREEDOM and more self-reliance.
–> Here’s post about “The biggest chance for your talent to be actually recognised -in your LIVING DAYS–and BE PAID FOR IT.” : https://sellmoreartonline.com/fame-and-fortune-in-art-can-be-a-choise/